Providing support for Families who have preschool children with Special Needs. Our aim is to provide a safe, friendly environment where families can meet to chat, make friends and support one another.
Rachel Wild (Chairman)
I have 3 children, Jessica is 11, James and Chloe are both 10. Chloe was born with the ‘designer gene’. I first attended the old ‘Charnwood Group’ when Chloe was only a few months old and it was the best thing I ever did. Meeting other parents and seeing older children thriving really helped in the early days as a new parent, uncertain of the future. I also made some life long friends. Once Chloe and James started school I began to volunteer at thegroup, helping to set up and clear away at the end. I also sat on the ‘steering group’ as a parent representative. When it became apparent that the group was going to end, I felt very strongly that the support the group offers new families should continue, so Mel and I decided to continue the group as a parent-led support group, the format will remain similar to that of the old group. We are here to support one another, after all no one understands better than another parent the challenges and feelings you go through as a parent of a child with special needs. Chloe is now thriving, she attends mainstream school, a local dance group and swimming lessons. But she has had her issues in the past, including major heart surgery in February 2013, I hope that we can offer the same kind of support, advice and encouragement that the Charnwood group gave me, during the ‘tough’ times.
Mel Treece (Vice Chairman)
I am the mother of 8 children, my 4 eldest boys are from previous relationships. And my 4 youngest children are with my current husband Geoff. I have 1 son with ADHD, 2 on the autistic spectrum and my daughter, Tegan had down syndrome. Sadly, Tegan died in 2011, aged 3 ½ years. When Tegan was born, I told the hospital that I thought she had DS and so they carried out tests to confirm. I started attending the Charnwood Group, when Tegan was about 6 months old and I am glad that I did as the support I received at the time was invaluable. Tegan was a bright and beautiful little girl, she had no health problems and had just started at the local ‘mainstream’ nursery school. She loved to watch Mr Tumble and enjoyed signing, especially the word for ‘chocolate!’She brought a smile to everyone who knew her and both me and Geoff are happy that the group is to be named in her memory. She loved going to the old Charnwood group, loved butterflies, thecolourspink and purple and dressing up. I feel that Tegan would have wanted the group to continue to help other children and their families, just as the group helped us.